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All About Abs! What Abdominal Separation Is and How To Prevent It

Have you heard of mummy tummy? It is a condition also known as diastasis recti – a separation of the rectus abdominis muscles or better known as ab muscles that make up your core. This condition is most common among pregnant women where about two-thirds of pregnant women end up experiencing it because pregnancy puts a lot of pressure on the belly and in the cases of diastasis recti, the muscles in front cannot keep their shape.

Your rectus abdominal muscles which hold your internal organs, run along your abdomen from your sternum to your pubic bone in two parallel bands. These muscle bands are connected by a connective tissue in the middle. This connective tissue is where the separation occurs. All bodies have some separation due to the fact that the recti bellies are connected with this connective tissue. How wide this diastasis (or separation) determines if you need to modify your exercise routine for diastasis recti.

While the separation of the abdominal muscles is not extremely dangerous, it can result in discomfort in the lower back, poor posture, constipation and leaking of urine.

So how do we prevent it from happening? Unfortunately there is no way to completely avoid the possibility of diastasis recti, but pregnant women can take certain precautions during their pregnancy to reduce the risk of it happening. These include avoiding heavy lifting when exercising while pregnant. As much as you want to engage your core throughout pregnancy with approved exercises, lifting excessively can lead to abdominal pressure and separation. If you have older children who want to be carried or your job requires lifting, squat and engage your leg muscles instead. Wearing a maternity support belt can also take pressure off your abdomen. It is also recommended to stay away from doing planks during this period of time.

Another precaution that pregnant women can take is to roll over when getting up from a lying position. For example, when you want to get up out of bed, try to avoid sitting straight up which will put pressure on your abdominal muscles. Instead, roll over onto your side and use your arms to push yourself up.

In the case that diastasis recti has already occurred and you are looking to improve the condition, doing the right exercises may help. For some women, the condition may correct itself after delivery as the ab muscles regain strength. However, if you are still experiencing symptoms or separation eight weeks postpartum, you can perform exercises specifically for diastasis recti at home, or work with a physical therapist and postpartum fitness specialist.

Alternatively, the Emsculpt Neo machine can also help by strengthening the core with treatments targeting the major muscles of the abdominal wall – including those involved in diastasis recti. It is a great alternative for busy mummies or individuals who do not have the time to workout due to family or career obligations. The novel therapy utilises HIFEM or Highly Focused Electromagnetic Energy to stimulate powerful muscle contractions. A single 30-minute treatment induces 20,000 contractions in the abdomen.

Supramaximal contractions encourage the body to rejuvenate the rectus abdominis muscles, making them bigger and stronger. This rejuvenation thus helps to close the gap created by diastasis recti. Before any procedure however, do consult your doctor or drop the team at Beauty & Co an enquiry. We have certified in-house doctors that will be able to safely advise on whether the Emsculpt Neo is the right machine to help restore your original ab muscles. 

Emsculpt Neo is Now Available in Malaysia at B&Co Clinic The Gardens Mall Kuala Lumpur

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